Minister says no to refuge for Douglas
THE Douglas Shire’s push for a domestic violence shelter may be stalled before it starts with Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman saying the region is adequately resourced.
Douglas Mayor Julia Leu has requested a meeting with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during next month’s community cabinet in the Far North to seek support for a new facility that will cost up to $1 million to build.
But speaking in Cairns on Tuesday, Ms Fentiman said she was happy to meet Ms Leu, but there was no current need for more facilities, either in Douglas or in Cairns.
“We’re going to continue to work with the Douglas community, but there is capacity in the region,” she said.
Ms Fentiman announced 24 new child safety positions for the Far North who will start working over the next two years. She said the backlog of cases waiting for attention had been wiped, but the growing population, ice use and domestic violence was increasing demand.
“The case loads that our child safety officers have now are, on average, 18,” she said.
“The target is 15. We’ve never actually managed to bring case loads down so our staff are overworked and stressed. This investment will do it.”